June 18, 2012
Today's Photograph . . . . A Glimpse of Misery (MQ)
I Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
Many of us would love to spend every day hiking, fishing, or hunting. We would love to always have enough money to pay our bills, and still have enough for the latest rifle, scope, fishing lures, gas, truck, ammo, out-of-state licenses, cabin, or camping trailer. But, this is not reality for most of us. Our days are not perfect. They are filled with financial burdens, not enough vacation time, family stresses, illnesses, and struggles. We live in a not so perfect world trying to live for Christ.
One deer hunt when I was about 14, my brother-in-law had killed a buck in the late afternoon on the backside of a mountain that my family had deservingly nicknamed "Misery Mountain." This mountain had shale slides, cactus, and was so steep that one could stay standing and still lean against the mountain to rest. Everyone went to retrieve that distant trophy with a burro, except my mother and me. We had the job of feeding the fire just in case those on the mountain did not make it back by night fall.
Just as the sun was going down, we saw our hunting party make it over the ridge of Misery to retrieve the deer. We knew we were in for a wait. We had gathered our wood or what you can in the desert. The night was quiet as the darkness settled around us. We waited as long as we could to light the fire to preserve our wood supply. The night grew colder and the darkness grew thicker. Mom had hunted with dad since she was 17. She was a good sport, outdoor woman, and a great hunter herself.
She decided we would light the fire, but we also needed to hike with a small flashlight across a dry gully to another hill in order to gather more wood. At 100 yards from that life reassuring fire, we suddenly heard something crashing through the brush. Minutes later came the high pitched, spine-tingling scream of a mountain lion.
Mom, with a quiet resolve stated it was time to walk back to that fire. Hours later we would sporadically see our hunting party's flashlight way up high on Misery. They were trying to save their light and would use it sparingly.
I Thessalonians 5:5-6 instructs us, "For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we do not belong either to the night or to darkness. Accordingly then, let us not sleep, as the rest do, but let us keep wide awake (alert, watchful, cautious, and on our guard) and let us be sober (calm, collected, and circumspect)," (Amplified).
Mom and I were very alert waiting alone in that AZ wilderness. We felt much better when we made it back unscathed to our fire. It was even more reassuring when we could finally sporadically see a small flashlight beam of our hunting party maneuvering down that mountain. We didn't feel so alone.
That hunting experience is so like life. We can become so bogged down with making a living that we don't take time to see the "Light". God has sent us His Word as a light to light our path. He has a plan for our lives. It is up to us to be joyful, to pray for His guidance and protection, to be alert, and self-controlled. He will be with us in the scary unknown times. He offers His love and protection. All we need to do is believe and trust Him for His care.
Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Become familiar with your local fauna. You never know when your simple hunting experience will last long into the night. You can eat the leaves and roots of the dandelion in a salad or as cooked greens. You can also dry the whole plant and use it to make tea. You can also eat the shoots of Cattails. Before the flower forms, you can peel the shoots and eat them. Acorns have very low sugar content and are great in breads and stews. The Native Americans would grind acorns to make them into flour. Make sure you do not mistake a similar looking plant for the one you choose to eat. A field guide for edible plants is recommended.